Trump and Erdogan sit down for first White House meeting

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump greeted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House. The two are expected to discuss several matters during their first meeting.
Trump and Erdogan (today) Photo Credit: EPA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived at the White House today for his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. “We’ve had a great relationship and we will make it even better,” Trump said as he sat in the Oval Office beside his Turkish counterpart. “We look forward to having very strong and solid discussions.”

Recently, the U.S.-Turkey relationship has endured some blows. Last week, JOL reported that Trump approved a plan to arm the Syrian Kurds in order to help them fight ISIS in Raqqa. Turkey views the Syrian Kurds as terrorists or supporters of terrorists due to their relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). However, the U.S. considers the Syrian Kurdish forces a great ally in the fight against ISIS.

Turkey is also upset with the U.S. decision not to extradite Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. Shortly after the failed coup attempt against Erdogan in July 2016, the Turkish government accused Gülen of orchestrating the ordeal and submitted a formal extradition request to the U.S.

It is believed that the two will discuss several matters including Trump’s decision to arm the Syrian Kurds. In addition, Erdogan will most likely bring up the topic of Gülen’s extradition during their meeting.

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